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THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER AND AWARD-WINNING RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK Murder, lies and betrayal in Regency England England 1819. Thomas Shield, a master at a school just outside London, is tutor to a young American boy and the child’s sensitive best friend, Charles Frant. Helplessly drawn to Frant’s beautiful, unhappy mother, Shield becomes entwined in their family’s affairs. When a brutal murder takes place in London’s seedy backstreets, all clues lead to the Frant family, and Shield is tangled in a web of lies, money, sex and death that threatens to tear his new life apart. Soon, it emerges that at the heart of these macabre events lies the strange American boy. What secrets is the young Edgar Allan Poe hiding?